54 penalty shots for a win

Record shootout in German women’s league

26.01.2016
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Memmingen forward Julia Seitz scores the game-winning goal in the 27th round of shootout on Bergkamen goalie Jule Flotgen. Photo: Stefan Weishaupt

MEMMINGEN, Germany – A shootout in German women’s hockey that included 54 shots and took roughly 30 minutes is believed to have set a new world record.

The record was set on Saturday, 23 January in the Bavarian city of Memmingen during a 1. Bundesliga game, the top women’s ice hockey league of the country, in which the home team Memmingen Indians beat EC Bergkamen 4-3.

The previous record was also from a game held in Bavaria when the Straubing Tigers defeated EHC Munchen 5-4 after 42 shots in the German top men’s ice hockey league DEL on 21 November 2010.

The league-leading Indians came back from a two-goal deficit in the last five minutes of regulation time to win the game in a lengthy shootout.

Sarah Connelly scored the 3-1 goal for underdog Bergkamen with 4:43 left in regulation time but it wasn’t enough to seal the win. German national team forward and her team’s scoring leader Nicola Eisenschmid made it 3-2 just 34 seconds later. With 50 seconds left before the buzzer and the goalie pulled Canadian forward Kaitlyn Keon tied the game for Memmingen.

As thrilling as the third period ended, as thrilling was the shootout to decide the game. The goaltenders Franziska Albl for Memmingen and Jule Flotgen for Bergkamen were in great shape and forced 27 rounds of penalty shots. Before the last round only three shooters on each side had netted the puck but each time the Indians got the lead, Bergkamen tied it in the same round.

Only when national team player Julia Seitz scored on the 27th penalty of her squad did the visiting team not manage to reply. Albl made the save on the ensuing shot from Rebecca Graeve, the 54th of the shootout.

“We started to become inpatient on the players’ bench because we desperately wanted to win the game. Once I was on the ice I thought I have to make it so that the game would have an end. I blanked out my original plan on how to shoot and decided spontaneously,” Seitz told Eishockey News.

During the shootout the players didn’t think about the record. “But after the win it was a nice feeling to becoming record holder. It’s also great for women’s hockey,” said the 21-year-old, who played her first IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship last spring in Malmo after three U18 Women’s World Championship participations.

In the women’s Bundesliga teams usually play back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday, which means that roughly 18 hours after the record shootout the teams met again. In the second game Bergkamen again earned a two-goal lead but this time Memmingen won 6-2 to defend the lead ahead of ESC Planegg, which won the German women’s league during the last five years.

The 42 shots from the Munchen-Straubing game remains as record in men’s ice hockey. In NHL play a new record was set last season when the Florida Panthers beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on 16 December 2014 after 40 shots in the shootout – just one round shy from the record of Munich.

In IIHF competition the longest shootout happened at the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic. Belarus and France were tied after two games of a best-of-two relegation series and after 26 shots Belarus sent the French down to Division I.

MARTIN MERK

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